Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin left Twitter for good Monday, condemning the site in a final tweet as “an occasion of sin” and major distraction.
Tobin, bishop of the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, was known to tweet about hot-button issues like abortion, the church’s sexual abuse scandal and the moral decline of the West. Tobin joined Twitter in February and quickly took to it as one of the most active Catholic clergymen on the social media site. He at first lauded its ability to give users an immediate impact among their audience and to give his particular audience a glimpse into the humanity of a bishop.
Tobin recognized early on, however, the danger inherent in being able to say anything instantaneously to potentially millions of people at once. The bishop has evidently decided that Twitter’s cost outweighs its reward.
“A final tweet. Sadly, Twitter has become a major distraction for me, on good days and bad, an obstacle to my spiritual life, an occasion of sin for me and for others. So, good-bye,” Tobin’s tweet read, according to Crux Now. “If I’ve offended anyone, I’m truly sorry. If I’ve helped anyone along the way, thank God.”
Tobin praised his fellow bishops in a July 19 tweet, saying despite scandals like the sexual abuse allegations levied against retired archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, he was proud of most of his colleagues. (RELATED: Cardinal Faces Sexual Abuse Allegation From First Person He Baptized)
“Despite the egregious offenses of a few, and despite the faults and sins we all have, I’m very proud of my brother bishops and I admire and applaud the great work they do everyday for Christ and His Church,” the tweet read, according to Crux.
That tweet garnered over 100 scathing responses, with some Twitter users retorting that all bishops had failed given the church’s seeming inability to prevent the sexual abuse of children. Tobin removed himself from Twitter shortly after that social media firestorm, though he did not state whether that wave of criticism directly influenced his decision.
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